Israel Again Failing to Rely on God

September 18, 2017 at 11:57 AM 4 comments

Pet Peeve #1: People who are constantly looking for “signs” of the return of Jesus, the Rapture, the beginning of the Tribulation, and the end of the world! Apparently, this Saturday, September 23, the world “might” experience the Rapture of the saints, immediately followed by the seven-year Tribulation.

Ho hum. Yawn. Every time someone starts pumping up some “sign,” many within Christendom go ape. This could be it!! they yell.

I believe the Rapture will occur at some point. I also believe the Tribulation will take place at some point just like Jesus said it would. Many of my aunts and uncles were believers and firmly believed Jesus would return (Rapture) during their lifetime. They are all dead now and the Rapture did not occur. I believe the chances are greater that I will die before the Rapture occurs, but I could be wrong.

The reality is that Christians – authentic Christians – are to be about the Father’s business just like Jesus was during His earthly life and ministry. Yes, we are to look forward to spending eternity with Him because in doing so, we get rid of the things that have no eternal significance. However, we are not supposed to be so caught up and enamored with future things that it’s all we think about. Jesus rebuked His followers for wanting to know the times and seasons. He provided a general outline with a number of specifics, but our main job as Christians is to live lives that express God’s love and bring Him glory. Honestly will force us to admit that it is extremely difficult to do because it requires us to be in a constant state of submission to Him and His will.

Those who are preoccupied with the times of the seasons, this sign, or that one, have lost sight of our most important job ever – living a life of love that brings people to God in Christ. Talking about signs and wonders doesn’t do that. It simply gets people excited about talking about signs and wonders.

I’ve written numerous books on the subject myself, but I’ve come to realize that it is far more important to live every day for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Stop taking the easy road by being caught up in eschatology for the sake of eschatology. Take the hard road and endeavor to live life in a way that pleases Him and brings Him great glory. We can do this while we look forward to being with Him in eternity.

The saddest part of all of this is that it is one side-show after another; one failed “prophecy” after another. Looking back over the past few years, not ONE prophecy that has been ballyhooed and esteemed has come true. Not one. This Saturday, September 23rd, will probably come and go like any other day with no Rapture, no start to the Tribulation and nothing out of the ordinary. The people who are highlighting these “signs” will never admit they’re wrong even after they’re proven wrong. They always leave themselves an out and they’ll keep going with more “signs” that people will go gaga over. There is no discernment among these folks because they are moved along by their emotions and against such, truth has no chance.

Yet, people will continue to chase after those who believe they speak for God in revealing these “mysteries” that are omens of upcoming fulfillment of biblical signs. I wish people would get over it, but the Bible itself says that during these last days, people will develop itching ears and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. God is not pleased.

Pet Peeve #2: I hate – yes, hate – the fact that some folks who own dogs keep them chained up outside their homes 24 hours a day. They rarely, if ever, play with the dog. They own it but it is not really part of the family. Unless the dog is specifically for the sole purpose of being a watch/guard dog, people that treat dogs in such a way are abusing the animal. This goes on way too much. If you own a dog, invite it into your home. Treat it as part of the family. Play with it. Talk to it. Be kind to it. Don’t put it on a chain outside your home near its “dog house” and expect it to be content. Those dogs get thoroughly bored. They bark because they are lonely and bored. They have nothing to do. A dog is not a trophy. Humans have domesticated dogs from their wild counterparts and because of that, we have a tremendous responsibility to treat them with respect and love. A dog is a physical, emotive animal that requires interaction with its owner on a regular basis. People who cannot do that should not own pets, period.

If you have a dog and you treat it like what I’ve described above, for the Lord’s sake, give it to someone who will actually love it will you? Your dog will appreciate it.

End of Pet Peeve.

***********************************

Israel had major problems as recorded in the Bible. Not long after God brought Abraham’s descendants into the Promised Land, they broke faith with Lord God Jehovah and did so repeatedly. They not only began copying the disgusting practices of neighboring people, but actually did worse things than they had done. We all know that the Israelites had a major problem with idolatry and it went on for many generations.

Another problem the leaders of Israel had was in simply trusting God for His outcome. Israel’s history is replete with example after example of how the kings of Israel would attempt to enter into a treaty with neighboring nations or empires, thinking that those nations/empires would come to their aid when Israel was attacked by some other entity. These attempts to procure safety from other people (instead of God), was a complete and miserable failure.

Often, the reason Israel was attacked was because God sent the attacking nation as an arm of His judgment and chastisement due to Israel’s rebellious ways. Had Israel done everything correctly from a deep and abiding faith in Jehovah, God would have had no reason to send chastisement. Of course, this would not have meant that attacks against Israel would have gone to zero. In some cases, God allowed these attacks not because of the needed chastisement of Israel, but to test their faith and to increase the size of their Land. In other words, Israel often had to fight against other nations once they first settled into the Promised Land so that all of what God had originally given them could be taken. Through faith in Him, His strength, and His Word, the Israelites would benefit by gaining more of the Land.

However, during the times Israel was on the outs with God (more often than not), yet refused to acknowledge it or lacked the capacity to see it, Israel would often turn to neighbors for help, instead of humbling themselves before Holy God. There are many, many examples of this throughout what we call the Old Testament. Let’s just look at one example from Hosea 8.

8 Israel is swallowed up; already they are among the nations as a useless vessel. 9 For they have gone up to Assyria, a wild donkey wandering alone; Ephraim has hired lovers. 10 Though they hire allies among the nations, I will soon gather them up. And the king and princes shall soon writhe because of the tribute. – Hosea 8:8-10 (ESV)

These types of descriptions are routine throughout many of the major and minor prophets. The problem in this case is that Israel, in attempting to protect her future, decided to look to Assyria for help. God says Assyria is a “wild donkey,” (v. 9). Picture it. A donkey that does what it pleases, when it pleases. You cannot harness and direct that donkey. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to tame it and any expectations you place on that donkey will always come to nothing. In short, you cannot count on a donkey like that to do anything you want it to do because of its inherent “wild” nature.

As far as God is concerned, verse 9b states that Ephraim “hired lovers.” God considers Israel’s attempts to enter into treaties with other nations a form of adultery. They were certainly not submitting to Him nor were they leaning solely on Him.

I read a brief article from Jerusalem Post, which was reprinted in the magazine, Israel My Glory. In it, it speaks of how Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is doing all he can to make Israel the bad guy related to the Gaza Strip. According to the article, Abbas has requested that Israel reduce “by 40 percent the amount of electricity it provides to Gaza after Abbas refused to pay 40 percent of the bill to the Israel Electricity Company.” [1] This means, people there are expected to live on four hours of electricity per day. We just lost power for four days from Irma. What a major inconvenience. Imagine having electricity for only four hours each day?

Beyond this, the article notes that Abbas stopped sending medical supplies to Gaza and also cut payments to government employees there. Abbas is creating a true humanitarian crisis for which Israel will likely be blamed.

But Israel doesn’t just have Abbas to contend with as we know. In the same issue of Israel My Glory, there is an article titled, Iranian Threat Grows. The situation in the MidEast is tenuous at best and always changing. The article speaks of the fact that ISIS is on the run. While they started out with vigor toward what they said was going to be another “caliphate,” (Islamic rule), they have lost quite a bit of ground due to the fact that Russia and China are supporting Assad’s Syrian regime so that it won’t fall. You’ll recall under President Obama, the “Arab Spring” occurred, which was described as the average Arab’s fight for democracy. It wasn’t. In essence, it was a political game of thrones, directed by people who wanted Gaddafi, Mubarak, and others out, so that puppets could be put in their place making it far easier to control those countries.

In the midst of this, or quite possibly instigating all of it, there was also the Qatar-Turkey Pipeline, which was initially intended to go through Syria. Assad said a big “NO!” because he wanted his own pipeline that would benefit Syria and Russia. I believe this is what was behind the war in Syria. The Clintons stood to gain millions with their involvement in the Qatar-Turkey Pipeline, which has not materialized so imagine their frustration and anger because of it. Assad must go! But, he has hung on.

Still, things in the MidEast are in constant flux. Iran has taken advantage of the deterioration of ISIS. ISIS has retreated and “Tehran has aggressively moved to fill the ensuing power vacuum by consolidating control over vast swathes of territory in the Levant (the area encompassing Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq).” [2]

In essence, Iran is trying to get much closer geographically to Israel by taking up positions in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. If they are successful, they will gain an alarming foothold over Israel with the constant threat of annihilation and because of a closer proximity, will be able to carry it out. You can see the problem from the map image.

Part of what Iran is trying to accomplish is to destabilize Jordan and of course, if this happens, Iran then has a direct and very close path to Israel. So what is Israel doing? “Amid the growing uncertainty, Israel and Jordan have increased intelligence cooperation, Israel has supplied satellite photos of Iranian military activities along Jordan’s borders with Iraq and Syria.” [3] Israel is also increasing its missile attacks in a major attempt to destroy any shipments believed to be from Iran to Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon.

The reality seems to be that all of the movement and alleged “Arab Spring” in the Middle East is simply cover for the growing Iranian threat to Israel, but the big question is this: Is Israel and its leadership relying on God? The answer is of course not!

Israel is doing what every other nation under threat from another nation is doing. They are going to other nations that may appear to be helpful in order to come out victorious in a war that is not being fought soldier to soldier. So far, Israel has not entered into any treaty that I’m aware of with neighboring nations, but one can only wonder how far off that is? Imagine what would happen if Israel’s leadership became Christian and started to depend solely on God for His victory? According to Scripture that will actually occur one day but that day is not yet. Israel has a lot yet to go through before she is ready to humble herself, rely on God, and receive His victory.

I want to be clear here. I support Israel, but I also know that Israel is not perfect, nor are her leaders Christian. When I say I support Israel, I support God’s plans for Israel that will come to fruition at some point in the future during the allotted time of God’s calendar. There will come a day when Israel’s leadership will trust the Lord for His solutions. Unfortunately, before that day comes, Israel will enter into one particular treaty with neighbors, brokered by the Antichrist, which will usher in the worst seven years of human history, just prior to the physical return of Jesus to this planet.

And for the record, I have absolutely NO IDEA when these things will happen, but I am quite certain they WILL happen because it’s in the Bible as events of the future. That’s all I need to know. May the Lord be praised.

 

[1] Israel My Glory, September-October 2017, p. 41

[2] Ibid, p. 7

[3] Ibid, p. 7

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, Religious - Christian - Prophecy. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Prophet Steve Fletcher is Wrong Again… Revelation 12: What is It Really About?

4 Comments

  • 1. Joshua  |  September 20, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    It’s interesting Ezekiel 38 and 39 were not mentioned in this blog post. Iran(Persia) is listed by name as one nation among many, led by Gog. That vast horde will descend on Israel but God will show his glory. The spoils from that war will provide Israel with fuel for 7 years. It will take a significant amount of time to bury the dead. Perhaps this divine intervention will be what causes Israel to rely wholly on God once again and forevermore. It’s also interesting to note that when this enormous army comes no other nation is names as coming to physically defend Israel.

    • 2. modres  |  September 20, 2017 at 2:34 PM

      Thanks for your comments. We’ve covered Gog, Magog and Ezekiel 38-39 in numerous articles before. A number of them can be found at this link: https://studygrowknowblog.com/?s=ezekiel+38&searchbutton=Go%21

      I tend to agree that God’s specific, clear divine intervention brings Israel closer. It is interesting though…while we believe the situation described in Ezekiel 38-39 will occur prior to the Tribulation, come conservative scholars believe it will occur at the end of the Millennium. There are good reasons for both views since Satan is released from the bottomless pit after 1,000 years and manages to turn tons of people against God.

      We’ll have to wait and see. Thanks again for your comments.

      • 3. Josh Barker  |  September 20, 2017 at 2:45 PM

        I’m curious as to why Israel would need seven years of fuel if it’s at the end of the 1000 years.

      • 4. modres  |  September 20, 2017 at 3:05 PM

        Agreed, which is one of the reasons we believe this invasion will occur prior to the Tribulation. Keep in mind there are no less than 8 separate views on this particular invasion; when it will occur and why. One of them of course, is an allegorical view, which we wholeheartedly reject. Dr. Thomas Constable believes that the invasion here actually occurs in two phases at two different times, first at the end of the Tribulation and again at the end of the Millennium. Here is what he says on the subject.

        Ezekiel evidently described the invasion of Israel’s enemies into the Promised Land as a single event, but later revelation clarifies that it will happen on two separate occasions. Part of Ezekiel’s prophecy describes one of these invasions, part the other, and some of it describes both incidents. Gog then does not describe a single individual but two people both of whom share similar plans. In the first fulfillment Gog is the king of the North. In the second he is the human leader who will lead the rebellion at the end of the Millennium.

        It seems unnatural for God to describe as one battle one that will have two parts separated by 1,000 years, and there is certainly no indication in Ezekiel that Gog’s invasion will have two phases. However, in view of later clarification in the Book of Revelation, we apparently have another instance of two events widely separated in time viewed by a prophet as one. The prophets’ descriptions of the near and far destructions of Babylon (Isa. 21; Jer. 51), the two advents of Messiah (Isa. 61:1-2), and the coming of two persecutors of the Jews (Antiochus Epiphanes and Antichrist; Dan. 11:21-35, 36-44) are other examples of this ‘foreshortened’ view of the future.” – Constable’s Notes on Ezekiel, p. 210

        He makes a good point. The entirety of the Old Testament does not indicate that Jesus coming to this earth would actually occur over two phases. The writers and prophets of the Old Testament envisioned the Messiah coming once and ruling the world in righteousness and justice. This is one of the reasons why the disciples asked Him if He was going to set up His Kingdom while He lived. To learn that He was to die created not only a great deal of consternation but confusion for them. It took a while before the reality of His Second Coming came into focus through the teachings of Paul and others.

        Zechariah 9:9-10 is a perfect example of this. The two concurrent verses highlight Messiah’s coming and immediately ruling in righteousness. Zechariah was not shown any type of gap between those particular verses. There is nothing in these two verses that suggests any “gap” at all, yet we are still living in it.

        “9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
        Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
        Behold, your king is coming to you;
        righteous and having salvation is he,
        humble and mounted on a donkey,
        on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
        10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
        and the war horse from Jerusalem;
        and the battle bow shall be cut off,
        and he shall speak peace to the nations;
        his rule shall be from sea to sea,
        and from the River[a] to the ends of the earth
        .”

        We still believe the Northern Invasion will occur prior to the Tribulation but we certainly may be wrong about that and it is not good to be dogmatic about it since the issue is completely peripheral to salvation itself. Thanks again for writing.


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